After the 36-7 trouncing of the Carolina Panthers by the New York Giants, New Orleans Saints fans may be asking the question, “How could that happen?” A question that is fair since the Saints made the Panthers look like a college program playing against a high school team this past Sunday.
In one of my past articles though, I mentioned it’s really quite simple for the Giants. They have the tools especially, on defense, to do what the Saints are struggling to do now: create a pass rush.
The Giants entire defense plays with the scheme that defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo is trying to create. The defensive line brings pressure, sheds blocks, and either gets to the quarterback or creates enough pressure to force a bad play.
Their linebackers cover well and also blitz their assigned gaps the way it supposed to be done. Meanwhile, the secondary provides the necessary coverage to limit the options available to the quarterback. Everyone working as a whole unit.
The right personnel is key with the Giants defensive line boasting players like Jason Pierre-Paul, Osi Umenyiora, and Justin Tuck. While they are monstrous in size, they are also athletic to boot.
Well, actually the entire unit is, with even their biggest lineman, defensive tackle Rocky Bernard at 301 pounds, running plays down like a linebacker. The Giants have a plethora of talent while the only standout on the Saints is defensive end Cameron Jordan, linebacker Curtis Lofton, and cornerback Jabari Greer.
To be honest, the Panthers also were riddled with mistakes and missing a key component of their offense, running back Jonathan Stewart. Stewart raked the Saints for 51 yards rushing as well as providing a Pierre Thomas-like performance being utilized in the screen play.
Another key for the Giants on offense was their offensive line held up to the rush of the Panthers defense allowing only one sack and giving quarterback Eli Manning all day to throw. This was another factor that crippled the Saints and almost crippled quarterback Drew Brees on one play.
While it may not be much of a consulation prize for Saints fans, the trash-talking that Newton gave their team on Sunday gave way to a more humbled player last night.
Newton’s only “Superman” touchdown celebration was on the Panthers sole score when he dove for the endzone almost two yards out. The Giants just seemed to have the right amount of Kriptonite last night.